The House Judiciary Committee met on Thursday to debate H.R. 7910, erroneously dubbed the “Protecting Our Kids Act.” While congressional Republicans certainly aren’t experts in good discourse, the Democratic moralizing and the constant deference to the 19 dead kids—in which every Republican is a now suddenly a heartless conduit for the faceless, evil NRA-led conspiracy to hold guns in a higher regard than children—is utterly insufferable. However, of all the blatant dishonesty exhibited by Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee, nothing seems more striking than the blithering idiocy of New York Democratic Representative Mondaire Jones.
There is a particular sort of confidence associated with Jones’ remarks that accent his blatant dishonesty relative to the other Democratic committee members. Very rarely do we see a man so confident in what he is saying, and yet so very wrong while saying it.
Jones stated in the committee hearing that “The Second Amendment does not include a single word, not one word, about an individual right to own a gun. The claim that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun is so indefensible…”
Jones is among the many on the left to promulgate this misunderstanding of the Second Amendment, though few say it as loudly and as confidently as him.
A prevailing argument for Democrats pushing to pass H.R. 7910 is the notion that an individual’s right to own firearms was only recognized in the landmark Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). Of course, even disregarding the many absurdities of this—and we will address these in a moment—Mondaire Jones, in making the statement cited above, begins to immediately cite passages from Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion to support his argument. It becomes hard to wonder how one so declaratively states that the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee an individual right to own a firearm, and then proceeds to cite a court decision that, while indeed introducing several caveats to the right of individual gun ownership, still nevertheless held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
But even without Heller, the meaning of the Second Amendment doesn’t change. To state that the Second Amendment only applies to a “well-regulated militia” completely slights the historical context in which the Second Amendment is situated. It is to ignore the two centuries worth of private gun ownership before 2008, or the fact that 45 out of the 50 states have the individual right to bear arms codified in their state constitutions—the earliest of these being Pennsylvania in 1776: “the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state.”
Of course, Mondaire Jones isn’t alone in making this argument. Amber Phillips, staff writer for The Washington Post, made the same claim:
“The interpretation that the Second Amendment extends to individuals’ rights to own guns only became mainstream in 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark gun case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, that Americans have a constitutional right to own guns in their homes, knocking down the District’s handgun ban.”
This interpretation, also known as the “Collective Right” interpretation, is not only wrong but also plainly counterintuitive. If we continue to consider the context in which the Second Amendment was written, it is clear that the word “militia” pertains to an organized body of citizens who have taken up arms for the “security of a free State.” There is no reason why, given Americans’ rich history of private gun ownership, that the security of a free state would only pertain to foreign invasions, especially when we consider the American Revolution being widely viewed as a civil war between the colonists and their mother country, Great Britain. As far as the colonists were concerned, they were actively rebelling against their own government, which had shown a disregard for their God-given rights as Englishmen. In order to have a proper militia, you would need a citizenry empowered with the individual right to own firearms.
The ridiculous notion that the Second Amendment does not contain within it a protection of private gun ownership is to slight almost all American history, and is rooted in a deeply intellectually dishonest analysis of the Constitution for the sake of partisan expedience. And it’s quite clear that Mondaire Jones shares this disdain for the Constitution when, in the House committee hearing on Thursday, he stated: “If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it. If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand it and we will not rest until we have taken weapons of war out of circulation in our communities.”
Jones, like many of his overzealous colleagues in Congress, presupposes a “national mandate” for the Protecting Our Kids Act, and because our constitutional system won’t give him the outcome he desires, we should immediately change the rules of that system to make it more favorable to his side.
But if the American people are truly as gung-ho for the Democratic agenda as Jones claims, then why do the Democrats enjoy the smallest congressional majority since World War II? Democrats in 2022, seem to have a bad habit of presupposing the existence of a national mandate for their policy agenda that simply doesn’t exist, even though the generic congressional vote polls show a reality far different from Mondaire Jones’ gun-grabbing fantasy.
At this point, why refrain from stating the quiet part out loud? This isn’t just about semi-automatic rifles or “common sense” gun reform (the term “common sense” in this context has an inherently partisan characterization as it is); rather, there is a significant caucus within the Democratic Party that whole-heartedly believes in abolishing private gun ownership. And if you’re still skeptical, all one needs to do is watch the Thursday committee hearing to see that Mondaire Jones is not the only Democrat promulgating the egregious notion that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to bear arms. If you still don’t believe it after that, then look no further than the President of the United States attacking the private ownership of 9mm handguns.
The blithering idiocy of Mondaire Jones represents a growing trend within the Democratic Party that denotes a disdain for the Constitution, as well as a near-religious adherence to an anti-gun agenda. No one wants to see tragedies like the one in Uvalde continue to happen, but attacking Americans’ right to bear arms isn’t going to solve anything.